Advent: Days 12-16 2017

I know I’ve been off my game this year. It’s ok. I’m letting it slide. I want to let you all in on a little secret. I don’t have it all together. I know it can seem that way so many times. We see each other once a week or so, or only through social media, and everything seems perfectly in place. I’m not saying my life always looks like that (in fact, I feel like it seldom does), but that’s often (almost always) how I view other people. It’s this lie that the enemy likes to whisper in our ears, “everybody has it together except for you….you are not enough…you’ll never own up, so just. stop. trying.” It’s super embarrassing to post this for all the world to see, but I had a little meltdown Sunday night. We had a fun, busy weekend, and we came home to a disastrous house. After we got the girls in bed, Blake went down to the basement to finish up some work that he had and I spent the next hour or so cleaning our pit of a house. The whole time I kept asking myself, “How on earth did it get this way?…I try so hard all day long, and this is still what I end up with?…Why can all the other moms out there get this, but I just can’t?…I will never be enough. I can’t do it. This is too hard.” And on and on and on. I cried myself to sleep that night. That almost never happens.

I tell you this, not because I want your sympathy or your pity. I tell you this because I know every other woman out there has felt this way at some point or another. It seems as though we are always in some sort of unspoken competition with each other. I see it in my daughters already and I try to fight those kinds of thoughts out of their sweet little heads. The enemy we face is real, he starts to prey on us while we are young, and he never stops.

Truth be told, I have a lot of good reasons for not being on top of things. We’re homeschooling, which is awesome, but we’re only in 1st grade and I’m still trying to figure it out. I’m 30 weeks pregnant. The aches and pains and limitations are real. And with our history, I’m taking every precaution possible. I refuse to push myself too hard this time. Blake just started his own company a few moths ago with 3 other partners. Everything is new, and exciting, and hard. He works 50-80 hour weeks every. single. week. It’s just a season, it won’t always be like this. But it is the season we are in now. And it’s hard. Raegan had her tonsils out a couple of weeks before Thanksgiving. And while she was recovering, she came down with this awful virus that made her recovery 10x worse-and longer-and harder. We had sick kids for basically a whole month. Life. Just. Happens. Things fall through the cracks. Sometimes we can’t keep up. And that’s ok. But it is oh so hard to remember that in the moment.

I was “off” for a couple of days after that. I just felt so defeated. Then Eleanor fell off of our rocking ottoman just before bedtime on Tuesday and I rushed her to the ER so she could get stitches. The waiting room was jam packed and we were there until just after 1am. She got 3 stitches in her tiny little eyebrow that night. When I got home, the other 2 kids had woken up and didn’t go back to sleep until 4am. It was the second night in a row they had done that. Needless to say, this week has been more than exhausting. Then on Thursday morning, Blake paid for me to go get a (very much needed) prenatal massage. We went out to eat that night for my Mother-in-law’s birthday. It was so nice. Just what I needed to turn my week around. I’ve been ok since then. I still have to fight to press down those lies that I get fed all day long. But it’s a battle that I feel like I’m winning right now. The counters in my kitchen aren’t clear from the clutter that’s on them. Our laundry room needs picked up. Our floors could be mopped (even though I’ve done that just about every day this week). But our room is clean, the girls picked up their room, I’ve kept the playroom clean for 10 whole weeks now, and our dishes are washed. I’m counting my wins. Trying to focus on what I’ve accomplished instead of what I’ve not. And tonight, I am going to post what we’ve done for the past few days-it may be late, but I’m doing it, and that’s a win.

SO, all that to say, on Tuesday, we made a gingerbread house. I learned something that day: gingerbread house making is not my strong suit. Next year, I’ll probably buy an already constructed one for us to simply decorate. ūüėÖ¬†You guys, the struggle was real. My mom was actually able to come over for a bit to help us out with the project-so that was really fun!

 

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And 30 minutes later, this is how it ended up:

Wednesday, we went through the drive-thru at Starbucks so momma could get a Chestnut Praline Latte (my absolute fave), and so the girls could each get on of those snowmen cookies they are always begging me to get for them. We had some errands to run, so this was the only picture I got.

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Thursday, I gave the girls some really fun, incredible Christmas activity books from Usborne. Those books kept them occupied for the longest time.

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Friday, we decorated those plastic ball ornaments with the girls. We pulled the glitter out again. It was a HUGE hit. I should have taken some “after” photos, but Blake and I had to rush out before they were done for a Christmas party. My parents helped them finish up, but I never snapped any more photos.¬†IMG_0780IMG_0783IMG_0781IMG_0782IMG_0779

And this morning, Saturday, we had our second annual Ron Swanson themed Christmas party with another family. We were having so much fun, I forgot to take pictures. But we had bacon, and eggs, and ham, and we exchanged gifts. The kids played and we parents got to talk. It was such a good, refreshing morning.

Well that’s it! Thanks for sticking with me! Even though it’s been crazy, I am truly enjoying this holiday season, and I hope you are too.

 

Wandering

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I don’t know where to start, really. To be honest, I don’t actually know what I’m talking about. Right now I’m feeling all the feels, and the best way for me to process that is to write. Sometimes I just get this inspiration-this urgency-to write. Stop everything. Get out of bed. Go downstairs. Grab¬†my laptop. And write. So here I am. Writing. Processing. Wandering.

I’ve stepped away from this whole blogging thing for a minute. Not intentionally. Not at all on purpose. Not for any one specific reason. But I have. Mostly, it’s a lot of work. Take the pictures. Load the pictures. Find something to write about. Write the things. Add the pictures. Edit it. Publish it. Let people know that you published it. It doesn’t sound like a lot. But it FEELS like a lot. Especially since it’s so hard to write when I hear “mom……mom…..mommy…..mom…..” in the middle of every sentence. It’s usually best that I wait for the kids to go to bed before I write another post. So that’s one reason. Another reason? Writing about Judah was exhausting. So. So. Exhausting. Honestly, I wasn’t really expecting that. Sure, I expected it to be hard. But boy, WAS IT HARD! I felt so drained after every post. I have no regrets. I’m so grateful I was able to get that part of our story out there. But I think I just really needed a little bit of a breather after that one. In addition to all that, we’ve just been insanely busy. We went on vacay to California for a week, had Eleanor’s birthday, and then my birthday, the big girls had their recital, I’m still working on my 20 Mile March purge (which is so close to being done, by the way), plus I started selling LipSense and Usborne Books (which was more time consuming than I anticipated). But I feel like things may just be starting to settle down a bit.

I’m going to get real here for a minute. Take it or leave it. I honestly believe God has big plans for me and this little blog. I really think it’s going to go places. Not because there’s anything special about me or what I have to say. But because I serve a God who loves His people and who wants those people to live in community-sharing each other’s burdens, lifting each other up, encouraging one another. And I think that can come in all sorts of forms. I think it can look like¬†sharing our stories, like telling each other our favorite easy recipes, giving some fashion advice so we can all feel a little more beautiful, showing sweet moments with our kids. The sky is the limit really. ¬†I believe¬†the Lord has given me something to say, and I need to say it. I think people need to hear it. Because I need to hear it. Sometimes, I really need to hop on my computer and read what somebody else is doing, see what they’re walking through, and how they’re walking through it. Why? BECAUSE THEN I FEEL LIKE I’M NOT DOING IT ALONE. And I think that’s the point.

There’s this little part of me that’s scared of that reality. Do I really want my blog to get big? To reach people? That’s a pretty big responsibility. Sometimes that holds me back. And then there’s this other part of me that says, “What if you’re wrong? What if you pour your heart and soul into this and it never reaches anyone? What then?” Maybe it sounds silly, but I actually sometimes get this visual in my head of people pointing at me and laughing, because I’m a failure. When really, at the end of the day, if I don’t succeed by “blogging standards”, so what? Who really cares? I gave it my all and that’s all that really matters anyway, right? Guys, really. I don’t know what I’m saying. I’m so tired, but “all the feels” are keeping me from my sleep. Sometimes I wish my brain came with an “on/off” switch.

Anyway, if you could, would you pray for me? I need some guidance, some encouragement. It takes a lot of courage to just put yourself and all your feelings and emotions and things like that out there. Especially for me. I like to pretend like everything is all good, all the time. I’m super strong and can handle anything that life throws at me without ever cracking. I don’t really need anybody’s help because I can do it all on my own. Seriously? Who do I even think I am? That kinda livin is a lie. And so not good for me. I’m working on it. Believe it or not, I’ve actually come kind of a long way. But, boy oh boy, do I have a looooooong way to go.

If you’re still here with me, thanks for sticking with it. Sorry for my ramblings, and sorry for being all over the place with this post. Who knows, I may even wake up in the morning, read it, and then decide to delete it because it doesn’t make any sense. But at least I feel like I can sleep now. #writingtherapy I don’t even have a good way to sum it all up so I’m just gonna say bye. Goodnight. I hope this post doesn’t stop you from reading other posts. See ya!